THP Participates in National School Bus Safety Week
Drivers Reminded to be Safe When Traveling Near School Bus
October 16, 2006
Nashville, Tennessee — The Department of Safety and Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) are joining law enforcement agencies and schools across the nation for National School Bus Safety Week, October 15 - 21. This year’s theme, “I see the driver – The driver sees me,” reminds Tennessee ’s approximately 600,000 students to stay out of the danger zone and in the direct eyesight of the school bus driver.
“School buses are nearly six times safer than passenger vehicles,” said Interim Department of Safety Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “Help keep the children they carry to and from school each day even safer by using caution when driving near a school bus.”
Each year, the THP’s Pupil Transportation Division inspects school buses and trains bus drivers across the state. Since January 1, Troopers have inspected 1,508 buses and have trained 1,889 school bus drivers. In 2005, Troopers inspected 9,446 buses and trained 9,928 drivers .
“These big, yellow buses carry some of Tennessee ’s most precious cargo,” said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Mike Walker. “Our goal is to keep the children safe as they travel. That’s why Troopers inspect buses, train school bus drivers and enforce traffic laws.”
In August, the THP launched a major year-long enforcement effort to remind motorists and students to Be Safe in the School Zone. Since August 11, Troopers have written a total of 2,873 citations. Of those, 890 have been written to drivers in school zones or around school buses, and 810 drivers have been ticketed for speeding in a school zone. Twenty drivers have been cited for improperly passing a school bus. Non-moving violations resulted in 1,983 citations, including 117 for not using proper child safety restraints and 788 for failure to wear safety belts.
The Tennessee Department of Safety ( www.tennessee.gov/safety ) is responsible for ensuring the safety and general welfare of the traveling public. The department’s general areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education and motorist services including the issuance of driver licenses. The department and its highly trained staff of Troopers are responsible for safety on more than 15,000 miles of state and federal highways.